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Seaside Heights & Seaside Park

International Sand-Sculpting Competition Coming to Seaside Heights

John and Laura Gowdy show off one of their famous sand sculptures. (Photo: Laura Gowdy/Instagram)

John and Laura Gowdy show off one of their famous sand sculptures. (Photo: Laura Gowdy/Instagram)

Seaside Heights will play host to an international sand sculpting competition and expo later this month, officials announced this week.

A half-dozen international, award-winning sculptors will compete June 26 through June 29 on the beachfront. Each sculptor will be provided at least 10 tons of sand to make their creations. World champion sculptors John and Laura Gowdy are the organizers of the competition.

“Laura and I are thrilled to bring six of the most talented sand sculptors on the planet to show off their skills in 200 tons of sand at Seaside Heights,” John Gowdy said. “What a great location, adjacent to both the boardwalk and the new Carousel Pavilion.”

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Gowdy promised visitors will be able to “see what you thought would be impossible to make with just sand and water.” Children can also enjoy playing in the play pile area, which will be full of buckets and shovels.

The confirmed competitors are:

  • Justin Gordon, Groveland, Massachusetts
  • Todd Pangborn, Jamestown, NY
  • Matt Long, Staten Island, NY
  • Karen Fralich, Ontario, Canada
  • Melineige Beauregard, Hawaii
  • Chris Guinto, Hawaii

“We have wanted to bring a sand sculpting competition to Seaside Heights for a long time, and it’s finally here,” said Mayor Anthony Vaz. “The talent of these sculptors is incredible! Our hope is that it becomes an annual event with the number of competitors growing each year.”

Daily tickets can be purchased for $5 per day for those 12 years of age and over and $2.50 for children ages 6-11. Children 5 and younger are free. Visitors can purchase an Event Pass for $10 for ages 12 and up, $5 ages 6-11, which allows unlimited access for all days of the competition. Tickets can be purchased at or

The award ceremony will take place 7:30 p.m. on June 29 with awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, plus the Mayor’s Choice Award. The public can vote for their favorite sculpture and watch the sculpting each day leading up to the award ceremony. The event will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.


Editor’s Note: Sponsorship opportunities that include your corporate logo sculpted in sand by the competitors is available. For more information contact Event Producers Dee Pellegrino at 732-539-8273 or via email or Walter Simon of The Adventure Continues at 732-614-4171 or via email DPM Shore Solutions is a Shorebeat sponsor.

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